5 new skills for today’s trainer

Average Reading Time: about 4 minutes.

Twitter, Bring your Own Device, Social Business…organisations, IT and employee attitudes and expectations have transformed over recent years.

Has the Training Department kept up?

We’ve outlined five new skills we think L&D / Training Departments need to develop and apply, to deliver value in today’s workplace.

1. Become a Curator

Content and information sources are exploding. Employees have limited time and attention.

Organisations need ‘curators’ – people who can build trust with employees to provide context and guidance to the most relevant information and content.

We think L&D / Training people have the intrinsic skills to develop and ‘own’ ‘digital curation’ for their organisation.

Background reading: What will be the next big trend on the Internet after “search” of Google and “social” of Facebook?.

2. Learn Behavioural Economics

If you want people to do stuff, pay attention and learn, you need to understand motivation and decision-making.

We think Behavioural Economics has the best insight into how psychology and incentives shape behaviour, and provides a useful toolkit for understanding how people really make choices, and spend their attention.

Background reading: Rory Sutherland’s quiet behavioural revolution gives the status quo bias a nudge.

3. Think like an Advertiser

We think that on a day-to-day basis, L&D increasingly need to solve information problems, but still rely on traditional education approaches.

We believe Advertising, not Education, is the most successful industry at ‘teaching’ by influencing attention and behaviour, and provides a highly effective ‘lens’ in which to view L&D design and delivery.

Background reading: Learning from Advertising (Participo briefing).

4. Approach projects like a ‘service-designer’

Service Designers worry about the end-to-end product and service experience, from opening the box, to the last support call.

We think a service design approach can improve the end-to-end experience of a learning event. How will employees use/apply/find their knowledge in a year’s time? What happens when they search the intranet in 6 months?

Being able to articulate, influence and design the ‘full lifecycle’ of a Learner’s experience will radically improve the impact and benefit of L&D ‘deliverables’.

Background reading: Designing the intangible – an introduction to service design (Slideshare).

5. Understand Attention

Workplaces are flexible, informal and highly distractable environments. Employees have faster access to information (Google!) and lower attention spans (new mail!).

They’d rather search the web, browse a ‘social stream’, search a wiki, or ask a colleague.

Traditional approaches like elearning don’t work – given a choice, employees are ignoring (or certainly not completing) long form e-learning content.

L&D need to deliver much more effectively into this ‘attention deficit’ space.

Background reading: Participo Briefings.